Kansas City Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill is headed to the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
#Texans CB Gareon Conley and Chiefs S Juan Thornhill among the players added to their teams' PUP list today.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 31, 2020
Thornhill tore his ACL in the 2019 season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers and had previously been expected to be “ready” for training camp.
By being added to the PUP list, Thornhill cannot practice until cleared by Chiefs medical personnel. In the meantime, he can attend meetings and work out. Once Thornhill practices, he is no longer eligible for the PUP list.
Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu shared some thoughts on Thornhill and his potential return in 2020 during the team’s media availability on Thursday.
Here is what Tyrann Mathieu told me regarding #Chiefs S Juan Thornhill when I asked him on Thursday. The previous thought was Thornhill would be ready for training camp. It won't be the case with the second-year safety headed to PUP. pic.twitter.com/dVokjw7HGw— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 31, 2020
“My hope for Juan is that obviously, he takes it easy — he don’t put any extra stress on himself,” said Tyrann Mathieu. “He plays for a good football team, and I think we have the ability to play late into the season. I think him being a young guy, I think the most important thing for him is his health. So as long as he can kind of keep that in front of him — being anxious to play, I think he’ll make the right decision. I feel like (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) and his staff — they’re pretty transparent. They’re probably the best in the business when you talk about coming back from injuries and what not, so I know he will be ready to roll, but you obviously, you don’t want him to feel like he has to put too much pressure on himself early on.”
The Chiefs addressed safety depth earlier this week with the signing of Tedric Thompson (more on Thompson here).
Chiefs offensive lineman Martinas Rankin will also start the season on the PUP list, according to Herbie Teope of The Kansas City Star. Wide receiver Aleva Hifo has been waived by the club. Hifo had previously tested positive for COVID-19.